06/20/2014 – 06/26/2014

FRIDAY, JUNE 20

Dead Man

DEAD MAN    7:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1996    134 mins.    TBD

“The best movie of the dog days of the 20th century. Made in 1996, it might as well be a silent. You can read the whole film off its faces. The sense of an undiscovered West — a West that vanished before it could be incorporated into national myth. That’s all there on the train ride from Cleveland to the Pacific, some time after the Civil War, as the white passengers shift inexorably into barbarism.” – Greil Marcus, Salon

 

JE T’AIME, JE T’AIME    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1968    91 mins.    35mm

“Alain Resnais takes dozens of interludes from one man’s life — images of everyday banality and commonplace delights — and arranges them non-chronologically. Those leaps add up to a cubistic portrait of a not especially remarkable man who becomes something more, not because of his commonplace life but because of the extraordinary manner in which his story emerges in its sweep and details, its simplicity and grandeur.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

 

KILLER OF SHEEP    5:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1979    88 mins.    TBD

“A dollar really means something in Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, a milestone of eloquent understatement that captures the daily life of have-nots as few movies have. Set in the post-riots Watts section of Los Angeles, where poverty comes in degrees, the film is a major landmark in American moviemaking: a vivid ballad for life as it was lived by people whom movie cameras could rarely seem to find.” – Wesley Morris, The Boston Globe

 

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2001    97 mins.    35mm

“Paying homage to risqué junk of the Meatballs ilk, it plays out like a low-rent hipster lark in the spirit of Soderbergh’s Ocean franchise: an invitation to kick it with groovesters on holiday as they hang out, pal around, and amuse themselves just this side of smug. The movie feels tossed off in the most appealing way, bobbing along like the cute, dim-witted nephew of Dazed and Confused.” – Nathan Lee, The Village Voice

 

VICTORY OF WOMEN    9PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1949    96 mins.    35mm

“Easily one of the most fascinating of these hitherto unavailable Mizoguchi films is Victory of Women, an ardent, early post-war feminist film, a Japanese Adam’s Rib. For Mizoguchi the ‘woman’s victory’ means not only independence for his spunky heroine, but a life in which she does not live only for herself. Yet, Mizoguchi insists, without autonomy selflessness becomes mere self-sacrifice.” – Joan Mellen, The New York Times

 

CLERKS    3:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1994    92 mins.    TBD

“A buoyant, bleakly funny comedy chronicling a day’s worth of activity at two adjoining stores, Clerks is true to the slacker motif of mixing smart twentyish characters with precocious burnouts, throwing them together in an atmosphere of funny yet frustrating paralysis. Though nominally situated in New Jersey, this convenience store and video rental place are in spirit somewhere very near the end of the world.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

THE ROOM    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2003    90 mins.    35mm

“Tommy Wiseau thrust his flexing naked ass into the psyches of cult-film lovers with a disturbing yet strangely hypnotic ferocity. He opened up the Pandora’s box of his warped imaginationand bats and ghosts and spiders and other creepy-crawlies of the psychological variety flew out with such insane force and intensity that a decade later, we as a culture are still asking, ‘What the fuck was that?’” – Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve

 

THE GOONIES    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1985   114 mins.    Digital Video

“Richard Donner’s 1985 adventure tale was executive produced and conceived by Steven Spielberg and it has every mark of a hack director striving to replicate Spielberg’s wide-eyed optimism.  The movie (which runs a punishing near-two hours, even without the octopus), is basically unwatchable without the sticky sheen of nostalgia. Personally, I’d rather sit through Adventures in Babysitting again.” – Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper

 

SATURDAY, JUNE 21

Serenity

SERENITY    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2005    119 mins.    Digital Video

“Although watching the movie feels a bit like tuning into a television program just in time for the series finale (which, um, it sort of is), once you gather the plot threads, Serenity reveals itself as a goofy interstellar Wagon Train — with a ragtag band of space cowpokes engaging in the kind of rapid-fire banter and foolish derring-do sorely missing from the recent Star Wars prequels. Everybody quips like Han Solo.” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

PRINCESS YANG KWEI-FEI    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1955    98 mins.    35mm

“Mizoguchi’s incisive sense of historical analysis is equalled by his exaltation of love and his recognition of the disproportionate price that women pay for pleasure and position. As injustice begets injustice and a corrupt regime besmirches beauty, Mizoguchi gives his lovers the last laugh, in one of the most jubilantly derisive endings in the history of cinema.” –  Richard Brody, The New Yorker

 

PI    3:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1998    84 mins.    TBD

“This is very much a first feature, with all the hyperbolic, sometimes indiscriminate cinematic energy of a student film. But it’s also sensational, a febrile meditation on the mathematics of existence. With its echoes of Jorge Luis Borges and Stanley Kubrick, even Frank Henenlotter’s great splatter flick Brain Damage, the whole movie is so hyper-alert that it seems pitched on the verge of a stroke.” – David Edelstein, Slate

 

DEAD MAN    10:30AM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1996    134 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

KILLER OF SHEEP    1:30PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1979    88 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    2001    97 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

THE GOONIES    11:59PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1985   114 mins.    Digital Video

See above.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 22

The War Is Over

THE WAR IS OVER    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1966    121 mins.    35mm

“Alain Resnais’ The War Is Over is exactly about the political dilemma of our time. This seems to be an age when the old and the young cannot agree on what is good or bad. The old (say the young) cling to outworn slogans and are worn down by centralization and bureaucracy. The young (say the old) care nothing for traditional values and seek to destroy society by anarchy.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

THE LOVE OF SUMAKO, THE ACTRESS    5PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1947    95 mins.    16mm

“I wonder if Mizoguchi lost a bet and was forced by his creditor to put his camera ten feet further back than he wanted. In this perversely stylized film, Mizoguchi will shoot theatrical scenes from the very back row, often from behind spectators’ heads, so that the spectacle of Kinuya Tanaka doing Ibsen is but a speckle on the screen. This is Mizoguchi’s master-shot scroll-painting style at its most severe.” – Ryan Wu, Pigs And Battleships

 

PI    3PM    At Museum of Fine Arts. 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115    1998    84 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

MONDAY, JUNE 23

ON THE WATERFRONT    7PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1954    108 mins.    35mm

“Thanks to Brando this posthumous Popular Front classic is a heart-clutcher from beginning to end. The greatest and most influential actor of post-war Hollywood, Brando would here redefine movie stardom with the eloquence of his strangled inarticulation. The scene of scenes, in which Terry reproaches his smarter brother for selling him out, is the most triumphant expression of failure in American movies.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

 

THE WOMAN OF THE RUMOR    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1954    83 mins.    35mm

“There are certain inevitabilities of narrative convention here, that Yukiko and Matoba’s relationship will blossom into romance and that Yukiko’s hostility to her mother’s line of work will mellow, but the first of these does not ultimately play out as expected and the latter develops logically as a result of, and in tandem with, the rediscovery by Yukiko of her own humanity.” – Slarek, CineOutsider

 

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One comment

  1. For me, Dead Man is the last, truly great Jarmusch film (the soundtrack to Ghost Dog doesn’t substantiate calling his next effort a great film). Superbly cast, especially Gary Farmer as “Nobody”, it would be the last western of note until John Hillicoat’s “The Proposition” almost a decade later.

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